Levandowski left Google in 2016 to form Otto, an autonomous trucking company. In August of that year, Uber acquired Otto for $700 million. (Uber ultimately paid much less than that because Otto employees either left or were terminated before their stock options were allowed to vest.) Six months later, Google sued Uber, alleging that the ride-share company conspired with Levandowski to steal trade secrets from Google’s autonomous driving unit, called Waymo. Uber settled in February 2018, five days into a blockbuster trial, agreeing to pay more than $244 million to Google.
But Google had also brought a case against Levandowski in arbitration, and in December, a panel awarded Google the vast sum. That award was subject to court review and was finalized in California state court on Wednesday.
As part of his employment with Uber, the ride-hailing service had agreed to pay Levandowski’s legal fees, including any judgments against him. But Uber said in an SEC filing Monday that responsibility for the fees is “subject to a dispute between the two parties.”
Uber declined to comment Wednesday. Levandowski did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In August, federal prosecutors with the Northern District of California indicted Levandowski, alleging he stole or attempted to steal confidential files from Waymo. The 33-charge indictment could land Levandowski in prison for up to 10 years. He has denied the charges.